Iran (MNN) — While Islam and Christianity share monotheism and an Abrahamic background, they have significant differences in belief and practice.
When Muslims in the Middle East become Christians, they have a lot to learn. And most materials written in the West do not understand the Muslim context they are coming out of.
Hormoz Shariat with the ministry Iran Alive Ministries says, “Yes, we need new material, probably returned by Muslim background believer pastors and leaders like myself or others who know the Islamic root. But teaching is not enough. It’s a practice. So what I’m doing is I’m starting with leaders around me. We pray, and we continue to minister. I’ve seen changes.”
Ministry in Iran
Since before the COVID-19 pandemic, people in Iran have started becoming Christians in huge numbers. The number of people contacting Iran Alive has grown exponentially.
However, Shariat says, “Discipleship is lacking greatly. Even the basic discipleship of how you study your Bible is missing right now. How do you pray? How do you walk with the Spirit? And how do you share your faith with others?”
“So pray, get involved with discipleship, and support the churches that disciple.”
Of course, this problem isn’t unique to Islam. Believers coming into the Western church bring cultural beliefs and practices with them that may contradict the teachings of Jesus.
Shariat gives an example that may apply to both Muslim culture and the West. “In Persian culture, you have to be kind to people, you have to be loving on the outside. But on the inside, you could be totally different towards that person. In the church, that can cause very superficial relationships.”
God loves the people of Iran. Ask Him to strengthen the Church there.
Header photo courtesy of Iran Alive Ministries.